According to multiple reports, including this one from SI.com, Tony La Russa is a candidate to replace Chuck Armstrong as president of the Seattle Mariners. Club CEO Howard Lincoln told Bob Nightengale of USA Today Thursday that the Mariners have launched the interview process with two in-house candidates, but wouldn’t confirm that La Russa is a candidate. Nightengale reported that La Russa is on Seattle’s “short list” of candidates.
Armstrong, who started with the Mariners during the George Argyros ownership (1981-89) and has been actively involved in the franchise for more than two decades, will retire at the end of January.
According to Nightengale, La Russa, 69, has declined to talk about the Mariners opening, but said that he is interested in leaving his position as a special assistant to Major League Baseball to join a front office.
“I’m interested in getting to the competition upstairs,” La Russa said. “I’ve missed the competition since I left the field. I talked to the commissioner (Bud Selig) about it. It’s not a thing where you miss the dugout, but I miss the winning and losing. The situation has to be right.”
La Russa, elected to the Hall of Fame a month ago, managed the Chicago White Sox (1979-86), Oakland Athletics (1986-95) and St. Louis Cardinals (1996-11). He won three World Series and is a three time Manager of the Year.
At the MLB winter meetings in December, La Russa was asked about his interest in the Mariners’ presidency.
“Those decisions are made by other people,” the Seattle Times reported. “But I’d like to be part of of the competition again. That place has got great potential.”